Chelsea will not have their preparations for the new season disrupted after the intervention the Primer Minister of Egypt, who stepped in to resolve a government and military wrangle around winger Mohamed Salah.
It was reported earlier this week that the Blues January signing may be forced to travel back to him homeland to complete military service after his place on an educational programme was rescinded.
Being part of the programme allowed Salah to stay in England and pursue a career with Chelsea after Jose Mourinho decided to snap him up from Swiss side Basel in January.
It also meant he was exempt from military service, otherwise an obligation in Egypt, which could last between one and three years. However, he will breathing a sigh of relief after Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab stepped in to resolve the situation.
The Independent have relayed reports from Egyptian website King Fut that claim the PM held a meeting with the Minister for Higher Education and manager of the national team, Shawky Gharib. In that meeting Gharib reportedly said the move to enforce military service on the 22-year-old would be damaging to Egyptian football.
It was then decided that Salah would not have to complete his time with the armed forces and is now free to travel to Austria with the Chelsea squad on the next leg of their pre-season tour.
Salah was used sparingly by Mourinho after arriving in an £11million switch from the Swiss champions, but still managed to bag two goals in the 11 appearances he did make.
He could well be one of the surprise successes in the Premier League next season as he has gone under the radar a bit since his arrival. However , two goals and two sensational performances in two wins over Chelsea in the Champions League group stages last season really caught the eye.
Signing Salah was part of a new trend at Chelsea to invest in emerging young stars rather than shelling out huge transfer fees for established superstars. Of course, Roman Abramovich will still fund the odd move for a well-known world leading player, but the majority of new faces have been younger and, crucially, less expensive on the wages front.
Financial Fair Play has become a real issue for the west London club and the development of younger players into more established stars gives them the opportunity to cash in every now and again if needs be.
One perfect example was this summer with David Luiz; Mourinho obviously wasn’t too keen on the Brazilian and PSG could eventually pay as much as £50million for his services – something they may be regretting after his meltdown at the World Cup.
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